Check this great advice from Sussex 4x4 Response to ensure you stay safe on the roads this winter.
Winter is the season requiring most care and preparation if you are to stay safe on the roads.
The British winter is unpredictable. Bad weather can strike suddenly, so please make sure you & your vehicle are prepared for these conditions in case the bad weather strikes in your area.
We are likely to see sub-zero temperatures at some point, which means frost and icy patches on our roads. Now is the time to give your car a once-over before winter conditions take hold. Bad weather can strike suddenly and more severely than you expect, so it’s really important to be proactive, rather than reactive.
Road Safety Advice
During extremely bad weather conditions:
Check the local and national weather forecasts
Listen to local and national radio for travel information
Tell someone at your destination what time you expect to arrive
Make sure you are equipped with warm clothes, food, boots and a torch – in snowy conditions, take a spade
Clear your windows and mirrors before you set out and carry a screen scraper and de-icer
Check the following yourself or take your car to your mechanic and ask them to check the following:
Engine antifreeze levels
Windshield washer anti freeze fluid
You can keep yourself and others safe, by:
Keeping a greater distance between yourself and the vehicle in front, (increase the 2 second rule to 4 seconds or even more)
Setting aside extra time to complete your journey
The sun can be a severe hazard during the winter months as it is low in the sky, the glare off wet roads can increase this hazard.
Winter driving conditions can be very difficult. Yet with a little care and prior planning, it is possible to minimise the risk and maximise safety for you, your passengers and other road users.
Follow these tips for safe winter driving:
What kit to carry please see: http://sussex4x4responseteam.wordpress.com/2012/11/22/sussex-4×4-response-winter-emergency-kit-what-to-carry-in-your-car/
Wash the car frequently to get rid of the salt and dirt that builds up over the winter.
Always keep a full tank of fuel – you never know when you might get delayed.
On colder days be particularly careful on tree lined roads – the trees prevent the sun’s warmth from reaching the road, which may still be icy when all around has thawed.
If you get into trouble
Do not use a mobile phone while driving. Stop somewhere safe or ask a passenger to make the call. On a motorway it is best to use a roadside emergency telephone because the breakdown/emergency services will be able to locate you easily. If you have to use a mobile phone, make sure you know your location from the numbers on the marker posts on the side of the hard shoulder.
Abandoned vehicles can hold up rescue vehicles and snowploughs. To ensure that the road is cleared as quickly as possible, stay with your vehicle until help arrives.
If you have to leave your vehicle to get help, make sure other drivers can see you.
In winter it is even more important to check your vehicle is well maintained and serviced.
Keep the lights, windows and mirrors clean and free from ice and snow.
Keep your battery fully charged
Adjust your driving to road conditions
Use dipped headlights and reduce your speed
Make sure wipers and lights are in good working order
Be aware that hail, heavy snow and rain reduce visibility
Add anti-freeze to the radiator and winter additive to the windscreen washer bottles
Check your tyre pressures, keep them inflated to the correct level and ensure they have sufficient tread depth (the legal minimum is just 1.6mm but this will not provide much grip on ice or snow).